Though there is not a large selection of community colleges near Birmingham, the ones that do exist offer a wide variety of vocational training opportunities. You'll find that a number of programs are offered in on-campus, online and hybrid delivery systems.
Schools and Programs
Jefferson State Community College, Bevill State Community College and Lawson State Community College, all located in or near Birmingham, provide students with a number of vocational programs. Many of these programs are offered during the evening, online, or in a distance learning format. In some cases, hands-on training could be included in addition to classroom instruction. All schools offer a wide array of vocational training, including in law enforcement, veterinary technology, cosmetology, welding, automotive technology, and business management.
Schools At a Glance
Jefferson State Community College
- Located in Birmingham, AL, this is a 2-year public institution.
- The school offers online and on-campus programs that can lead to 1-or 2-year certificates and associate's degrees.
Bevill State Community College
- This school is located in Jasper, AL, and is a 2-year public institution.
- Bevill offers online and on-campus 1- and 2-year certificate programs and associate's degree programs.
Lawson State Community College
- Located in Birmingham, AL, Lawson State is a 2-year public institution.
- The school offers less than 1-year and less than 2-year certificates and associate's degrees.
Jefferson State Community College's Vocational Programs
Jefferson State Community College, a public, 2-year school, offers over 20 career programs. The average age of Jefferson State's student body is 26, and about 33% of the school's students are between 23 and 60 years old. Vocational training is offered through the Center for Professional, Career and Technical Education.
Aspiring emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can complete the EMT-Basic certificate in one semester. Students learn how to administer emergency care and are eligible apply for a state EMT-Basic license.
Associate of Applied Science in Banking and Finance
This degree program, which is also available as a shorter certificate program, prepares students for entry-level jobs in banks and financial institutions. Students take classes in accounting, management, economics and math.
Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement
This degree program is aimed at students who plan on pursuing a career as a law enforcement officer. The program includes introductory courses in criminology, corrections, security and the judicial process.
Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
Many courses are available in an online or partially-online in this degree program designed for students currently working as firefighters. Classes cover fire service supervision and management.
Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology
This degree program trains students to assist veterinarians in caring for animals, administering medication and conducting examinations. Graduates must pass national and state licensing exams before working in the field.
Bevill State Community College's Vocational Programs
Located about 40 miles from Birmingham, Bevill State Community College was formed in 1992 when a vocational college and academic transfer institution merged. Many of the college's vocational programs are available through distance or evening classes. Bevill State offers vocational programs in more than 15 areas.
Certificate in Cosmetology
A 55-credit program, the certificate in cosmetology includes 12 credits of general education classes. Students also take classes in spa techniques, hair coloring and chemical services. Shorter cosmetology certificates are available for students who want to specialize in barbering, hairshaping, nail technology, cosmetology instruction or chemical applications.
Associate in Applied Science in Vehicle Technology and Repair
This degree program offers concentrations in automotive service excellence, auto body repair or diesel technician. Students take classes in engines, fuel systems and electrical systems.
Certificate in Welding Technology
Students choose between a long and short program, and take both applied and theoretical classes. Both programs include six credit hours in certification preparation.
Associate in Applied Science in Business Office Management and Technology
Students take 21 credit hours of general education classes and 24 credit hours of program-specific classes, which cover accounting, word processing and information management. Specializations are available in accounting, business management and office administration.
Lawson State Community College's Vocational Programs
While the main campus of Lawson State Community College is in Birmingham, AL, there is a secondary campus about 16 miles away in Bessemer. The school offers numerous certificate and degree programs in such vocational areas as business and information technologies, construction, automotive technology, health professions and manufacturing and engineering.
Accounting Technology Certificate
By completing 53 credit hours, students can earn a long certificate in accounting technology. The program includes 13 general education courses as well as course topics that include business math, basic principles of accounting, business communication, macroeconomics and an internship.
Pharmacy Technician Assistant Certificate
This is a 2- semester program that is offered on campus and online. The 29-credit hour program entails topics such as an introduction to pharmacology, pharmacology I and II, drugs and health, billings and computers and pharmacy practice. In addition, students are required to complete two practicums.
Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration and Management
It takes the completion of 76 credits to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration and Management from Lawson State. The program includes 19 general education course credits and 57 professional course credits. Profession courses cover such topics as business statistics, principles of accounting, microcomputer applications, business math. There is also a management workshop in grant writing.
Students willing to do a bit of commuting in the area of Birmingham, AL, will find opportunities for vocational training at nearly a half dozen community colleges. All of the schools offer some vocational training either entirely online or by way of a hybrid delivery system, in addition to the traditional on-campus environment.